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Old 01-07-2002, 05:10 PM   #21
mcho
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Default Re: Adventure Tourer reader feedback

I can tell you have never been to Alaska.
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Old 01-08-2002, 03:31 PM   #22
gasdive
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Default Re: Adventure Tourer reader feedback

You're right, I've never been to Alaska (My Mum just came back from there though)



I'm not clear on what you mean... Are you agreeing with me or disagreeing? From what I understand of Alaska a suitable bike is one that you can load on a boat with ease... If you're not using the boats to get around, then the conditions look pretty harsh, and you'd want something a good deal tougher than any of these bikes.



Or are you saying that the CBR1000 wouldn't be up to the challange? OK, maybe it woudn't, but if it isn't then none of these bikes would be either.



We have some dirt roads too... Australia is a similar size to the continental US and has less than 10th of the population. Not much money for roads. They only sealed the road from here to Perth (the transcontinental road across the Nullabour) about 20 years ago, so that was the first time you could travel between all the state capitals without leaving the blacktop. Even now, you reach the first dirt roads about 25 minutes from the centre of our largest city (how far is the first dirt out of New York?). The biggest selling bike in Australia (apart from bikes for the postmen) was the XR600 for years and years. Now the YZ426F has taken over. Yeah, we've got some dirt (which is why I added my country of origin...)



You've got frost damage on your blacktop as well... But we've got heat damage. Sometimes it gets so hot the tar melts, and the cars and trucks plough it up into lumps and hollows. These can be a foot high in places...



What I'm saying is that a properly ridden road bike can go anywhere these "adventure tourers" can go. If they were serious about building bikes for this role then they'd have high guards, more suspension travel, much much longer range, tough plastics (like a proper dirt bike) and they'd be close to 100 kg lighter. As they are they're pure road bikes with dumb suspension and poor riding positions. They're covered in LAQUERED!!! plastic!!!!! One drop and you'd be looking at hundreds of dollars damage. I read an Australian road test of the BMW 1000GS a few years back. The test only lasted about 60 km. They dropped it in sand at about 100 kays (60 miles an hour) and it tore the whole shaft drive and rear wheel off the bike!!!!!!! That's not something you can fix on the side of the road with beer cans and fencing wire.



These bikes are just a joke and a con. They look like they're "bad ass" (as you Americans say) Go-Anywhere Do-Anything mean machines, but they're just two wheel RAV4s. Fine for riding slowly between cafes but useless for anything else. For goodness sake, the Honda even has linked brakes!!!! How can you ride a bike even on a gravel road with linked brakes??? You could make a good case that the CBR1000 would be *better* off road than this thing. How would you get it around a sharp corner?? Do a three point turn?



Cheers Jason =
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Old 01-08-2002, 04:30 PM   #23
gasdive
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Default Re: Adventure Tourer reader feedback

Oops,



Brain fade, just read a similar comparo that included the Honda Verodero (spelling??) and that is what I was refering to in the "Honda even has linked brakes" bit.



Sorry Jason =
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Old 01-08-2002, 05:06 PM   #24
Willem
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Default Re: Adventure Tourer reader feedback

Thanks MO, its good to see some action in this market segment. The US is great for adventure touring, and I don’t mean down Route 66 on a Harley…



From my experience, your article is spot on. I have ridden the BMW GS and I currently own a Tiger, as you said the Tiger grows on you, it just does everything well. However, it has a long way to go before its perfect. I can’t say much for the Aprilia yet, hopefully someone I know will buy one soon…



For the benefit of prospective buyers, here are some Pro’s and Con’s, from my experience on the Tiger 955i:

Pro’s:

- Powerful & Quick, even with a heavy load!!!

- Great suspension, that works well everywhere.

- Fits well between cars in traffic…. (Great commuter, while saving for the next adventure.)

- No overheating problems in high temperature at low speeds. (I whish I could say the same for the rider!!)

- 12v Power outlet for GPS or Heated Vest.

- Price.

Con’s:

- Bad wind protection!! There is a lot of Helmet noise due to wind turbulence at high speed.

- No packing space under the seat. (Where must I put my tools & tire repair kit??)

- Must take off both seats and use tools to adjust the rear Pre-Load.

- Fuel Gage very pessimistic. (This could be a pro if you’re a Procrastinator)

- Center stand should never be optional on an adventure tourer!!

General:

That triple just purrs along like a happy feline. I am very pleased with the Tiger so far, it has given me no problems whatsoever and it did not bite of an “arm and a leg” to acquire it.



For MO:

1.) Why is it that your power specs (85Hp) differs so much from the Factory specs (105Hp). Perhaps yours were tested at the wheel, and factory’s at the motor, but 20 horses is a lot to lose or to lie about??

2.) I agree with other readers, to see a simple table with a summary of the specs would be nice. (eg. Weight, Power, Fuel Consumption, Tank Range, MSRP ext.)



Otherwise very well done, keep it up and we’ll keep on subscribing!!

Thanks

Willem

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Old 01-08-2002, 05:23 PM   #25
Willem
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Default Re: Adventure Tourer reader feedback

I just hope the V-motor in the LC8 can take care of the vibrations!!! I owned a KTM 640 Adventure-R when I lived in South Africa, it was great off-road (by adventure touring standards), but on any long distance trips the vibration and small/thin seat was a killer!! However, the KTM would still be the bike I would choose to cross Africa (not much highways



Buying an bike for Adventure Touring must be molded around your interpretation of “Adventure Touring”.
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Old 01-08-2002, 05:36 PM   #26
Willem
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Default Consumption on Tiger955i

The consumption on my Tiger is about 45-50 mpg. With a Tank of 6.4 Gal, this gives me about 300miles. (The gage is very pessimistic, so the paranoia makes me fill up at about 220miles)

Hopes this helps!!

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Old 01-08-2002, 06:06 PM   #27
Willem
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Default Re: Adventure Tourer reader feedback

I agree, getting off the beaten track and exploring is great fun. I owned a KTM 640 Adventure that fell in the Dual Sport class, and i now own a Tiger 955i that falls in the "Adventure Touring" Class.



The Tiger is definitely much more comfortable to cover distance and can carry more load, but when i hit the muddy backroads or deep sand I would much rather find myself on a KTM Adventure, KLR650, DR650 or the old faithful "Africa Twin" from Honda (never seen in the US). None of them are total offroad machines, but they fill the gap between today’s Ultra Comfortable Adventure Tourers and the hard core offroad bikes.



Use the right tool for the job and you will have the most fun and the least discomfort

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Old 01-10-2002, 09:22 AM   #28
Grappelli
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Default Re: Adventure Tourer reader feedback

If you read my message again, you'll find that I HAVE taken my GS places my old CBR1000 could definitely not have gone (desert sand, snow, mud, mountain trails) and have dropped the bike several times without damage.



I wouldn't say that the bike is good on loose surfaces, but it can do it. And that's the point. The bike can take me where I want to go on road, and then with a bit of effort, can take me a lot further. Sure, it's not a pure dirt bike, but who wants to ride a dirt bike 500+ miles a day on tarmac.



For me, the Tiger WAS too much a touring bike and the Aprilia is a road bike only. Still nice bikes though. However, the BMW has been an amazing bike.



PS. Below 100mph, the BMW handles MUCH better on normal roads than the CBR ever did.
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Old 01-10-2002, 07:51 PM   #29
gasdive
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Default Re: Adventure Tourer reader feedback

Mmmm, That's interesting...



I wouldn't have thought that the GS could be ridden in mud. Perhaps our mud is different, but with that low mounted guard the kind of sticky clay we get would gloop it up and the front wheel would stop going round.



You've ridden your GS in sand and had no problems, and no, I wouldn't take my CBR on sand dunes (I've ridden it on a sandy track, but that's not "sand"). I don't know if I'd take a GS onto sand either..... I rode an R80GS Dakar on a sandy trail, and it was good, by leaning back and powering it up you could get the front to float nicely at about 80-100 km/h (50-60 mph) however when I complemeted the owner on its nice manners on sand he went white as a sheet, and having seen photos of a later model paralever bike broken in two when crashing on sand at about that speed, I can see why. (by broken in two, I mean the suspension unit, swing arm and back wheel 20 metres from the rest of the bike)





I've ridden road bikes on snow and what I'd call "mountain trails" (the roads around Leh in the Indian Himalaya) and while I'd have prefered to have my XR600, I couldn't have carried my 60 year old Mum with me on the XR.



Perhaps I'm just coming from a very different angle. I'd like a bike that was better able to cope with long hauls on blacktop, but nearly as good off road. I think of my XR as being much too heavy to really have a good time off road. I have all sorts of trouble keeping up with the guys on KTMs that are just 10 kg lighter, but the BMW is more than 100 kg heavier than the XR!!!!



It's surprising as the first G/S from BMW was their lightest bike, and pretty strong with it at 167 kg oil but no fuel, only about 40-50 kg heavier than a "dirt bike" and by far the lightest of the BMs at the time. Same mass as a CB250N. It had a long range with the 36 litre (9.5 gal) tank. Their current offering is 62 kg (140 lb) heavier and only has a 22 litre tank... While everyone else has been making their bikes lighter and stronger, (Honda Australia's current replacement for the CB250N is 45 kg lighter and 60 km/h faster!) BM has made theirs over 1/3 heavier and more fragile. Sure it now has power outlets for your 12v fluffy slippers, but has it made it better for its intended role? You can only answer "Yes" if its intended role is poncing about in towns or cruising up the autobahn to Aunt Helgas (is that how you have your Adventures?). If its intended role is ultra high speed dirt over terrible conditions of deep sand, rocks, rivers and mud, where it's 500 km to the next fuel, (ie *Adventure* touring) then no it's not better...



I guess I'm just disapointed. I really would like a 2002 version of the R80G/S. 1/3 lighter than the 1980 version (rather than 1/3 heavier), stronger, faster, more reliable, with a foot of suspension travel at both ends and 700 km range. Insead we're offered an expensive off road hippo.



Cheers Jason =

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Old 01-13-2002, 09:46 PM   #30
Grappelli
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Default Re: Adventure Tourer reader feedback

Funnily enough, even though I'm disagreeing with you, I am also agreeing with you. These bikes are not good offroad compared with an offroad bike. And you'll notice I said that I hadn't enjoyed the mud AT ALL, especially on 'looks like offroad' standard tires.



However, neither are they a waste of time. I find my GS a bit slow and heavy, but a lot of fun apart from that. And for what I use it for it's ideal. Living on the west coast of the US in LA, it's a long way to the Sierra's up north and a long drag through Arizona or Nevada to the east. I could do this on a KTM Adventuror or another 600 single. It would even be fun. And when I got to were-ever I was going offroad, these bikes would be much better at it.



However, with my GS I can roll long at a fair enough speed (that I don't want any more tickets, thank you officer), with great handling in the corners (when there are any) in great comfort for me (and another if she comes) and zap out 5, 6, 700 miles. And my knobbly tires are not completely destroyed by the combination of speed and desert heat on tarmac. And the bike is able to do what I ask of it, and some. (except mud)



Yes, it's too heavy. Yes, it's not a great compromise as an offroader. Yes it could be better. But it really is more than the sum of it's parts and if you ignore how much you paid of it, then you can really force it to do some fun things. (I take the attitude, the thing cost $14,500, so it bloody well should be able to go up that hill / through that mud / desert. And almost always, it does)



So I guess the only thing I am disagreeing with you on is your contention that Paris Dakar lookalikes are a useless class of bike. For those of us that fit them and want that usage... they're a great, great, tourer+.



BTW. I suspect the two cylinder KTM coming out next year is going to be much nearer to what you want. I'm certainly going to be taking a long hard look at it.



Hey, I'm not complaining. I'm 38 now and I haven't had a bike yet that I haven't had loads and loads of fun on.. including a 50cc trail bike I hired and toured Greece on in 1982. (me 6'4".. it, about 2ft tall. Max speed 35mph, down a hill, with a following wind. Much uphill and you were paddling.)



Happy trails, mate. #)
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